By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday U.S. Representative Martha Roby said on Facebook that President Obama is the person that is responsible for the automatic sequester cuts that will go into effect on Friday if Congress and the President do not come to terms on some sort of compromise.
Congresswoman Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery said, “Twice now, the House has passed legislation to offset the sequester, not with more tax increases, but with smarter, more responsible spending reductions. But with the sequester deadline days away, the President has embarked on another media campaign instead of working with Congress to fix the problem. He says the only way to fix it is by replacing cuts with another tax increase. He says that’s the only way to achieve “balance.” But, as Bob Woodward points out in his latest column, the President already got his tax increase in January, and insisting on another one this time is “moving the goalposts” and “not the deal he made.”
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is urging the two sides to find some sort of a compromise. Gov. Bentley said on Facebook Monday, “Over the last few days, I, along with other governors, have met with President Obama and members of his Cabinet to discuss the impact sequestration will have if it’s allowed to go into effect. Washington must find ways to reduce spending. But the cuts should be made in a way that is the least painful for citizens. Essential services should be prioritized, especially those that allow us to protect and defend our country. By taking a rational, reasonable approach to spending reductions, the federal government should help protect essential services and the jobs they support. The deadline is drawing near. Congress and the President must come together on a workable solution that’s in the best interest for our entire nation.
Alabama is most likely to be impacted by cuts to military spending. The defense budget takes a ten percent hit under the terms of the sequester; but non-defense discretionary spending also takes some very modest cuts.
Alabama House Minority Leader Craig Ford (D) from Gadsden said, “ If these cuts go into affect, up to 1,100 children could lose access to early education through the Alabama head-start program, and another 500 hundred families could lose childcare. Nearly a thousand students will lose aid for their college education and almost 300 students could lose their work-study jobs.”
Ford continued. “Education isn’t the only area that could lose funding. Alabama could lose up to 230, 000 dollars for law enforcement and public safety grants, and almost $100 million in cuts to Army and Air Force bases located in Alabama, which could result in as many as 27,000 federal employees being put on furlough and a loss of $176.9 million in income.”
According to polling by Rasmussen 40% of the American public wants to see the sequestration cuts averted, while 32% favor allowing the cuts to continue.
The sequestration is only an $85 billion cut to a $3,600 billion a year federal budget. The President has tremendous authority over what programs to cut. The sequester does nothing to address expensive entitlement programs like social security, disability, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. which are the programs which are driving the deficit.
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.